Climate change and its impact on Minnesota’s tourism industry: How businesses can adapt to the changing season


The Effect of Winter Weather on Minnesota’s Tourism and Economy

Minnesota’s $22.8 billion tourism industry is a year-round venture that attracts outdoor enthusiasts from all over the state. But what happens when the snow and ice that make winter activities possible don’t materialize due to warmer weather?

University of Minnesota Extension’s Xinyi Qian, director of the Tourism Center, and Brigid Tuck, senior economic impact analyst, are available to discuss the challenges faced by the tourism industry in Minnesota during these times. Qian conducts applied research on topics related to travel and tourism, while Tuck analyzes and writes reports for the Economic Impact Analysis (EIA) program.

According to Qian, warmer weather can have a significant impact on Minnesota’s tourism industry, particularly on activities like snowmobiling, skiing and ice-fishing. Overnight visitors who come to these activities spend an average of $140 to $150 per day of their stay. However, with no snow or ice in sight this year, some of that money won’t be coming into communities as usual.

Tuck notes that climate adaptation is essential when it comes to generating money for communities through cold weather activities. She suggests that businesses should start exploring alternative ways to generate revenue during warmer months when tourists aren’t as likely to participate in traditional winter activities like skiing or ice fishing.

The University of Minnesota experts can provide commentary, insights, and opinions on various news topics related to tourism in Minnesota and how factors such as climate change can affect it. To learn more about selected experts or request their commentary, visit the University’s Experts Guide or send a request through email protection [email protected].

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